Dubuque Police bring the idea of speed cameras to city council

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 10:53 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Dubuque Police Department will recommend adding speed cameras at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Police say they investigated 1510 crashes in 2022 which was on par with previous years; however, they also responded to 6 fatalities, which was a 10-year high. Police said this would allow them to better patrol areas where people are speeding in city limits, and police say they don’t have enough officers to patrol busy roadways.

Jenny Gockel, a manager of Bustin Axe Throwing Range downtown, said the cameras might help. She spends a lot of time sitting at the front desk, which faces Central Avenue.

“I see a lot of wrong-way drivers and people speeding,” she said. “I see a lot of police pulling people over.”

Police haven’t announced where the cameras would be placed if approved, but said Central Avenue Downtown, NW Arterial, Asbury, and Dodge Street could benefit. Gockel said she wasn’t worried about getting a ticket while driving to work herself, but she also wasn’t the biggest fan.

“I don’t like that you’re constantly being filmed everywhere,” she said.

In a statement to TV9, Chief Jeremy Jenson said: “Safety is the impetus behind this proposal. Staffing shortages coupled with a high call volume do not allow for the dedication of an officer to sit in one spot and run speed enforcement 24 hours a day, 7-days per week. Without that dedicated type of enforcement, other enforcement options like this one are needed to change driver behavior before a crash happens, and if a crash does happen, hopefully, limit the severity of that crash.”

Chief Jenson said they modeled the idea of speed cameras from cities like Cedar Rapids where traffic deaths along a stretch of Interstate 380 went from 5 a year to one in ten years.

Gockel, on the other hand, said she wanted more details before she could get behind being on camera all the time.

“I know I drive the speed limit so I should be fine, but it’s a weird thought,” she said.